When you want to bake something for your sweetheart, these gluten free shortbread cookie hearts are the perfect treat! A creamy pink raspberry frosting is a sweet and beautiful finishing touch.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and that has many of us thinking about what kind of festive desserts or treats we can make for our loved ones.
I love to bake for Valentine’s Day. And it’s not too difficult to make a special cookie that’s gluten free, dairy free, and free of the top allergens. If you have heart shaped cookie cutters, that makes it really easy! You can definitely do gluten free vegan sugar cookies, or chocolate sugar cookie hearts.
These gluten free shortbread hearts are an extra special treat. They are so super light, very buttery, and have just the right amount of richness. A creamy raspberry buttercream frosting on top adds a light fruit flavor, and a beautiful, vibrant pink color.
Making gluten free shortbread is fairly easy – you just use the same kind of ingredients that you use when making any shortbread recipe – flour, butter, sugar.
- Gluten Free Flour Blend -Use a gluten free flour blend that works for your dietary needs. My homemade gluten free mix works really well, as does Namaste Perfect Flour Blend.
- Vegan Buttery Spread – I like Earth Balance Soy Free Vegan Buttery Spread that comes in a tub. You could also use the baking sticks.
- Powdered Sugar – Powdered sugar is used in this recipe rather than granulated sugar to make these extra light.
- Freeze Dried Fruit – I chose to make a pink frosting for these cookies, and I didn’t want to use any food dye. I got a beautiful pink color with freeze dried raspberries. You could also use freeze dried strawberries if you prefer! I used Karen’s Naturals brand freeze dried raspberries, because I am comfortable with their facility and process, but if you have a different brand that you prefer, go ahead and use them. Be sure to call and check on any product that you are unsure of.
You might wonder about cutting out shortbread with cookie cutters. Shortbread cookies are often slice and bake, or pressed into a pan and sliced afterward. This dough does works well with cookie cutters, but here are a few tips for you to be able to successfully make these shortbread hearts.
Tips for Success
- Chilling the dough is essential – it makes it much easier to work with, and reduces the amount that these cookies will spread.
- It’s easiest to roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper. It keeps the dough from sticking from the rolling pin, and it’s easy to control the thickness of the dough.
- Leave at least an inch between the cookies on the cookie sheet, because even with chilled dough, these cookies will spread a bit as they bake.
- Allow the cookies to cool fully on the cookie sheet before moving as they are a little more delicate than other cut out cookies.
I don’t recommend that. Typically grain free flours like coconut or almond flour are heavier, and that’s not a good choice for a cookie with a light texture, like butter cookies. A gluten free flour blend is really the best choice for these cookies.
Oil will not work in this recipe. Shortbread cookies require vegan buttery spread, or if you are able to have dairy, regular butter.
How to Make Raspberry Frosting
- Place a half cup of freeze dried raspberries in a mini food processor.
- Process until the raspberries are finely ground.
- Sift the raspberries with a fine mesh sieve over a bowl to remove the seeds. You should just have a very fine powder.
- Mix with vegan buttery spread, powdered sugar, and a little non-dairy milk or water.
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Gluten Free Shortbread Cookie Hearts with Raspberry Frosting.
For the cookies:
- Put the vegan buttery spread, vanilla, and confectioner's sugar in a mixing bowl, and beat until smooth.
- Add the gluten free flour blend and salt, then mix on low speed until the dough comes together. It will be pretty thick.
- Divide the dough in half, and pat each half into a disc. Wrap each disc in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for two hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Place some parchment paper on the counter, and unwrap one disc of dough and put it on the paper. Cover it with another piece of parchment. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a thickness of about ¼ inch. Don't go too thin – this dough needs to be a little thicker.
- Use heart shaped cookie cutters to cut out the dough, and then carefully transfer the cut outs to the prepared pans.
- Repeat with remaining dough. You can probably fit about 12 cookies on a cookie sheet if you use a 2 inch cookie cutter. Keep the leftover dough chilled in between baking.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool completely before moving.
Make the raspberry frosting:
- Place the freeze dried raspberries in a mini food processor, and process until they are finely ground.
- Use a fine mesh sieve to sift the raspberries over a bowl – you should have a fine powder in the bowl. Discard any seeds or large pieces left in the sieve.
- In a mixing bowl, place 3 tablespoons of raspberry powder, the confectioner's sugar, and the vegan buttery spread. Mix in medium speed while drizzling in the non-dairy milk a little at a time.
- Once the frosting reaches a spreadable consistency, turn off the mixer.
- Frost the cooled shortbread cookies.